Share Your Stories

June 24, 2007 Anand Amma's Grace

Let this be a place for people to share their joyous memories of Anni — I’m sure there are many.

I’ll start off with some: I remember how we (her, Lincoln and I) used to go fishing in the backwaters for their little cat, Tushti. And how one time we tied Lincoln up at the top of the roof (I can’t remember the details).

I had forgotten about this one but she told me about it again when I went to Maryland: Apparently I used to be pretty gullible and one time there was a vegetable for lunch called ‘elephant’s foot.’ She told me that it was made by cutting off the feet of elephants and putting them in the ground. I never ate it…

And in San Ramon a few years ago, when I was on crutches, I wanted her to get me a slice of pizza at the snack shop but she went and got something else and made me eat it and said it was good for me.

Everything happened so long ago that the individual memories are blurred, and all I remember is a strong feeling of love and friendship.

Please come to and share your memories as comments to this post.


PS from Lincoln – We are hoping to read some of these stories at the funeral service. Thanks.

No Responses to “Share Your Stories”

  • Nigama says:

    My first memory of Annika was she and Link tearing around the ashram and up and down stairs at nearly the speed of light. I loved it – that energy and agility. I loved how brother and sister were so comfortable together, too. And to see them both with their mom, preparing Amma’s path without fail and with such care. And taking care of the ashram in many ways with the same care. The few times I helped, Annika showed me how to take care to wrap the railings on the stairs of a stage on tour, where Amma’s hands might touch, or to carefully wipe the handrail at the ashram with scented water.

    Both Annika and Link helped teach the kids from the tsunami shelters how to swim, once again demonstrating not only that admirable athletism but caring for their community. Annika would play around with this old lady in the pool as we waited for the next lesson, tickling me or pulling me under. I was a formidable adversary in this game of playful torment – at least in my own recollection. It was great to be around her pure, youthful energy.

    I believe Annika was here for way too short a time only to take care of some last karmic details, and to bring blessings to many. I have a theory that when innocents and sadhaks endure intense physical suffering they are at or near the end of their karmic journey, and I speculate that more than their own karma is involved, that many others are benefiting according to their design in partnership with “God”.

    My heart and many others’ have broken a hundred times and more in this time of pain for Annika and her family. And I have railed at Amma endlessly day after day. But always I had to come to the same end, that Amma is nothing but compassion, and only She knows what is really happening and why. And what seems outrageous injustice must really be mercy we don’t understand, can’t even begin to understand, can only pray to understand.

  • Priya (Abby) says:

    If anyone was ever truly an Angel it was Annika. I have been blessed to have known her for ten years now and I can honestly say that I never once heard her say a negative thing about another person nor did I ever witness her act unkindly towards anyone, or any living creature for that matter. She was truly a beautiful person who loved to sing for Amma and get all the kids involved to share in that. For the past few years when I went to India Annika and her family and a bunch of kids at the Ashram would get together and collaborate beautifully to create music for Amma. I’ll never forget the many afternoons I spent with Annika and everyone trying to hit the right note for “My Sweet Lord” or show Murali the correct key for “Of My Amma”. Annika was by far the most patient of anyone and I never saw her get frustrated, all she wanted was to sing for Amma. I remember just sitting there watching Annika sing out to Amma with her eyes closed and mind somewhere else…She really embodied pure devotion. Something that also sticks out in my mind is that every time someone would compliment her on her beautiful voice she would always say “It is all Amma.”
    One memory that sticks out in my mind is relatively small but I think it holds a lot of meaning. About two years ago when I was in India sitting on the Temple balcony watching Amma Annika came and sat down next to me. I proposed that we move to the other side of the balcony to see better and thus take the shortcut (which involved walking directly above Amma on the balcony) to get there. Annika replied by saying that she didn’t like walking above Amma. Upon hearing this I was immediately humbled. Who was this extremely perceptive and intensely devoted young woman? I don’t know how else to explain this but it is a strong memory I refer to often when I think of humility.
    These stories are just two of many beautiful memories but I feel that they convey Annika’s essence best in my opinion. She is back home now and in the arms of the Divine Mother. We love you Annika.

  • Udar says:

    Om Namah Shivaya,
    we are all very sad here at Amritapuri, but I accept that it was perhaps for the best that Annika is not suffering anymore. Life goes on for us all, including Annika (although in a different plane). Hope Linkesh and Kamala Aunty are overcoming their grief all right.

    Remember many nice thoughts about Annika.

    The first time I saw her was in the college auditorium. They were doing a song then. Linkesh was playing guitar and Annika was singing. But something was wrong with her microphone. You couldn’t hear her singing at all. Just see her lips moving, but she was doing it very sincerely, even though we couldn’t hear her at all. I imagined that her voice must have been very nice – angelic sounding. It reminded me of Amma who during bhajans doesn’t stop for anything – mic working or not, but puts full concentration and sincerity into it regardless.

    Another nice memory was when she has one of her sick birds, a baby crow, – and was trying to take it Amma to get it blessed.

    The nicest time, I remember was during a darshan in the Kali temple, right in front of the Kali murti. Annika was on the girls side. Amma gave me a nice darshan, then sort of motioned toward Annika. I looked up and she was giving a big smile. Felt like she was praying for me to have a nice darshan – which I did.

    Finally, the last time I saw her, was at the college, she came in looking for her brother. She stayed for a minute, and then was gone. Her eyes had a strange look to them, sort of the ends were up turned. I noticed how beautiful her eyes were. Looking back now, she must have been in some pain even then, which caused the strange look.

    Beautiful spirit – hope she is in peace and bliss

    Linkesh and Kamala Aunty, we are praying for your peace and happiness also.

    Namah Shivaya

  • Aishwarya says:

    Om Namah Shivaya,
    MAy Anni be with Amma always…
    this is my request, since i have never seen Anni, not seen the service Anni has done..if ull dnt mind can ull please tell us abt Anni’s i really know nothing abt Her…just came to know a few months ago..
    if ull dnt mind, pl continue posting in this blog…abt Anni’s life..and abt hw She spread smile on everyone’s face…
    Amma’s always,

  • Ahalya says:

    Dear Kamala and Lincoln,
    Om Namah Shivaya. Anni was maybe only ten or eleven when you came to live here in Amritapuri. Because Lincoln reminded me of a very dear child to me from my past, I often observed you all more closely. I felt Anni always like someone who carried with her a certain quietness in the back ground. Her sweet voice matched well with that quietness.

    But the image that remains in my mind of her for ever is of a young girl taking huge leaps, reaching here and there, her long plait flying joyfully in the air behind her head when she hurries to clean the path way for Amma or Amma’s hut with you both, or to paint the spiral stairs leading to the Kali temple, or to run with a big umbrella ready to open it for Amma if rain or too much sun comes on Amma, or to reach wounded animals, plants, whatsoever. When I commented this memory today to Ambika-amma, she said, “Just like an angel”. I said, ‘Yes’. I thought that, yes, she was like an angel without wings. She used her legs to fly. Then Ambika-amma said, ‘That is what Amma told, Anni is like an angel.”

    But later when her body got ill those physical leaps seemed to turn into non-physical leaps. And this sweet angel started helping in other more subtle way. One day few weeks back when I got severe neck pain I thought of Anni. She must be in worse pain her body all over bitten by cancer. Why can’t I go over this small river, when she regardless of her young age seems to fight with all her might to cross the whole ocean of samsara? Thinking of Anni I forgot my own pain.

    Today I got a mail from Srividya who told almost the same – without knowing my thoughts. She said, always when she is in pain she remembers Anni’s situation, what she is going through and suffers, also due to the distress it causes to her near and dear ones. Many more people have commented on similar things about Anni.

    See, dear Kamala and Lincoln, the effect of our dear Anni on others is much more than you can even imagine. She will continue helping others in this more subtle way till long time to come. And I am sure her determination was to cross an Ocean, not just a river. I can imagine her having taken a huge leap and landed on the shores of true happiness, while her plait still joyfully continues flying in the air.

    Your sister in Amma

  • Raji(Rajeswari Arun) says:

    one little incident i want to share is that -she once told me when she was walking around cheerfully,barefooted “chechi,i lost my shoes…now i can stop bothering about them…”

    it breaks me into tears when i think of the love with which she “owned” Amritapuri-her home,by every means…every little grain of sand has her smile on it,her joyful steps gave them happy memeories
    i cant even think of an amritapuri without Anni..its like amritapuri can now be only nostalgic about the childhood it had…with its own little butterfly who has now gone to sleep in AMMA’s lap..

  • Ambijam says:

    Annika—-if ever an Angel walked the earth, it was Annika. So ethereal and gentle a soul was she. I will always remember her kindness to EVERYONE, young and old. Although she was several years older than my younger daughter Sneha, it always struck me how loving and inclusive of her she was. Most teenagers prefer the company of kids their own age, but Annika never made that distinction and seemed to know how Sneha might feel if she were not included.. It meant the world to her and to me as well. I will miss her so much but I know that she has simply returned Home. Job well done, Anni.

  • Sneha says:

    As Amma said, Annika was an Angel. Whenever I would be sitting alone in India while eating my lunch or just sitting alone, Annika would always come and sit with me. There are not many kids my age there so I don’t have many friends. The older kids don’t want to hang out with the youger kids, But Annika didn’t care that I was so many years younger than her, she would hang out with me anyway. She was probably my best friend there. And she still is. I miss her so much and always will. But she has reached her final step and now is with Amma. That is the most important thing of all, the fact that she is now one with Amma.

  • Kartu says:

    When i came to the Ashram for the first time, i was sick and down with jaundice..My first glimpse of Anni was seeing her singing for Amma with her beautiful sweet voice..I met Anni and Linky later and when they knew i had jaundice, took me straightaway to Kamala Aunty! We also planned to practice some songs and sing for Amma! The remaining days i spent in the Ashram, Kamala Aunty, Anni and Linky treated me none other than a son or a sibling! I was amazed to see their humility and excitement while serving others..They used to make meals for me three times a day and didnt let me eat anything from outside! Infact, Anni and Linky literally spied on me so that i am not caught eating food from the Cafeteria! They used to hunt me down and take me up to their beautiful little room and make their special recipes for jaundice! I remember practicing in their room for our big show and the sheer excitement and the wonder of kids in them when they used to sing for Amma..We formed a huuuuge band with more than 15 people and sang for Amma, Kamala Aunty, Linky and our sweet Anni being the guiding light..Anni and Linky looked sooo cute when they used to practice their violin..Infact i could see Anni everywhere, hopping and jumping here and there serving everybody and helping them..I remember how she cleaned the entire path which Amma was supposed to walk at a darshan in Ahmedabad..She even cleaned the iron poles adjoining the path! Anni was sooo naughty and natkhat! I remember that while practicing one day i got late and had to go to the male dorm, but the main gate of their building was locked from outside after 11 pm..
    Anni and Linky took me down from their sixth floor to the third floor..I was wondering what they are doing when suddenly Anni suggested me to take the drainage pipe like and reach the ground!! I was looking them with my eyes popped and they were laughing mischieviously! I asked them whether it was a joke when Anni and Linky toook to the pipe and started climbing down like monkeys!! They managed to get the door open so that i could get down! I just watched them in disbelief, when they said it was so common for them!! I have never seen such people, who are so selfless and caring and serve unconditionally to everybody, whether humans or the hundreds of animals and birds they have treated..Some time after she was diagnosed with cancer, I was a little sick and Anni felt so sad learning that i was sick and told me over the phone” Kartudada, its so bad you are negligent with your health, please promise me you will take care of your health” Such was our little angel, our saint..She was more concerned about my health than hers..Anni was really a saint..She was pure innocence..Infact she is a Guru for many of our lives, including mine..Am so fortunate to know her in this lifetime..She will live on forever in this heart..

  • Komal Kapoor says:

    I have not known annika, kamala aunty and link for long, but for whatever short time i have known them its been really heart warming! It is amazing to see such selfless,loving and kind people people who are concerned about everyone, who care selflessly for everyone!!!
    Annika, was surely an angel, some good soul, who radiated sheer love and kindness, i had met her in san ramon for the first time and it was shocking to see the little girl, smiling despite all the ruthless pain!!! As soon as i saw Annika i felt pure love:) I felt sad that people like me and many more keep crying for our small little worries and pain, and here was a girl who could SMILE despite such agonizing pain!!! We all should learn atleast something from Annika!!! and Kamala aunty and Link!!!
    I remember the day i had gone to see Annika, all three of them were going to see Amma who was in San Ramon and that day was the first day of Amma’s darshan. Kamala aunty was meeting me for the first and yet lovingly with a smile on her face she asked me to join them for Amma’s darshan. I went along wth them and i was surprised to see that despite all their restlessness Kamala aunty was so much bothered about me stayng with them and getting darhan of Amma. (These people were more concerned about others/me even at a time when they were themselves in so much pain)I was really touched wiith such love!!!!
    I have met Annika only once but she is and will be an Inspiration to me and many other people for all times to come!
    Let u try and become atleast a little loving and selfless as ANNIKA was.
    May your soul be in peace Annika!
    Love u Annika, Kamala Aunty

  • sivani says:

    Memories of Annika are bubbling up…
    Annika watering the plants, nursing sick birds, leaving behind beautiful patterns when sweeping Amma’s yard, creating mosaics to make the garden pretty for Amma. Annika trying to save the mango tree, walking slowly holding Amma’s mother’s hand, sweeping before bhajans, and afterwards cleaning up Ram’s mess. Annika carrying the cot for Amma to start darshan, Annika half asleep laying and setting straight again and again the cloth for Amma to walk on at the end of darshan. Annika holding a sunflower. Annika rushing with Amma’s picnic chair.
    Annika serving, Annika rejoicing in devotion.
    Never self concerned, always self effacing. Such a beautiful being, who not only managed to be immune to the tantrums and stubbornness and rebellion of teenage years, but also somehow never was once part of that never-ending ride in Amma’s famous tumbling machine. While all of us rocks keep on hitting against each other in deep emotional turmoil, Annika is equanimous, wise and gentle. In all these years never once I have seen her losing her temper. Always kind and sweet and gentle and selfless.
    Annika for Amma. Annika for others.
    And this disease is Annika’s supreme act of service. To Amma. To us. Reminding us of our impermanence, showing us true surrender and love and acceptance. Having the whole world pray and learn and grow.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if she was already planning a new selfless project, somewhere up there. For Amma.
    With Amma.
    Thank you Annika.

  • aum says:

    I remain humble and be anonymous

    For though knowing Anni’s heart

    Unable to express her memoirs in words

    Only known to AMMA, the Divine Secrect.

    With Love & Prayers

  • Chidanand Bill says:

    Anni, Lincoln and Kamala:

    Thank you each for your warmth and friendship and welcoming ways. Anni had met my daughter Daelyn only a few times, yet she would ask about her when she saw me at the ashram. Such kind, thoughtfulness she displayed.
    What moved me most was being asked to play some songs with Anni, Lincoln, Kamala and Rishikesh during a period of impending sorrow that all were going through. I was welcomed and made to feel at home…And how fortunate to have been given the opportunity to share something of my heart with so those who were close to Anni.

    And how I witnessed so many ashram hearts being healed when so many came to pay homage to Annika… and how, even in her gradual passing her loving presence touched so many lives.

    Rishi, Lincoln, Annika and I sang this song together and I am thankful to have been given that gift:

    Salutations To The One

    Salutations to the One, who shines just like the morning sun
    Salutations to Her Lotus feet, Om Devyai Namaha

    Without Her Grace the mind just spins…from passions to attachment again and again
    Let the prayer be heard… ‘May Her Grace be here,
    Let the life be healed, let the life be Whole’

    Be Whole with compassion, ….let the voice of the ego fade
    With compassion….let the voice of the ego fade

    Om Devyai Namaha
    Om Devyai Namaha

    I wish to say that Annika’s passing truly touched the hearts of many Amma devotees. So many dear ones chanted the thousand names for sweet Anni….So many tears were shed…..And so many hearts were opened….for hearts do not break “closed”….but they break “open”.

    Jai Ma
    Chidanand Bill

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